Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Doctors can either choose profits or patients. Most of them choose profit.

I chose patients and went out of business. I tried. For over two years I took over a clinic and tried a "complexity" model where I charged more for the more problems a patient brought in. I had thirty minute and one hour time slots. I had to train the front office to count to three (any problems over two got a one hour visit). I only charged what insurers would pay.

It didn't work out.

I wanted to try a 'hybrid' model where people would pay a yearly fee to be part of practice but I'd still only charge insurers. I was told legally I couldn't do that (found out that wasn't true). By then I was kind of burned out on the idea, done. I took a job with a well known hospital based clinic. They are good at letting me run my practice the way I want except on the issue of time.

Do you think ACO's (accountable care organizations) and population health management (both things aimed at "systemitizing" the approach to patient care) will put any appreciable dent into getting your time back?

I don't think so. I don't see the groundswell to get back time. If there was an organized outcry and we showed this was the reason our quality has suffered, maybe.

"A doctor that wants to earn $2,000,000 per year"

Ha ha ha! You're talking to a primary care doc. I work a busy 4.5 days a week and make under 200,000. At least I get healthcare and vacation. Anything I've saved is more a result of compound interest than actual earnings (thank you Vanguard!).

Practicing medicine is not fun anymore. Everything that was rewarding about it has slowly been taken away and I am now a data-entry and customer service clerk. Most of the physicians in my age group (late 30's) are saving like crazy so we can retire from medicine as. soon. as. possible.

Exactly. The virtual patient care has also gotten completely out of hand. Any patient paperwork that needs filled out (DME, FMLA, etc) gets dumped on the primary care doc.

Pay off your house as well, it's a great feeling. Finally did that last year at 55. My retirement account didn't build up steam until the last few yaers so I won't be fully done until I'm 60. I am going to try locums in about a year or so until I hit the age of retirement.

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